Monday, October 31, 2011

(Snowtober) Weekend in Pics

{fall light and fall leaves, friday}

{the very next day, snow and fall leaves}

{snow falling outside of church, after a friend's wedding}

{snow out the window at the reception}

{sparkle nails, mimosa in a mason jar}

{gray day, bright outfit}

{intense halloween decor, sunday}

Snow! It snowed before Halloween this weekend! I didn't take the forecast all that seriously, then at my friend's wedding Saturday morning when the congregation turned to watch the happy couple walk down the aisle, we all saw big, white flakes falling. It was a pretty magical way to end a wedding ceremony. And, a really good excuse to stay in and watch Annie Hall that night. Annie Halloween!

Sunday the snow was gone and I got to see two of my favorite musicians perform in an intimate "house" show that was one of the most inspiring things I've seen in awhile. Seriously, if you have the chance, see Derek Webb & Sandra McCracken if they come to your town.

How was your Halloween/Snowtober?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy (Halloween) Weekend!

Happy Halloween weekend, friends! I thought of one more thing to add to my earlier list: The Monster Mash! We heard it while walking through the corn maze last weekend and I got all giddy—such a fun song. Enjoy your festivities this weekend :)

Halloween Grinch

Tonight's Moon

In the past couple of years, I've started to think of Halloween as gross. I get kind of complain-y about it. There's way less kiddie cuteness and way more (completely inescapable, in New York) slutty drunkenness, and I tend to avoid it all together. But the good kind of Halloween, with trick-or-treating, exchanging candy with your siblings, and eating your yearly quota of candy corn, really is fun. So, in an effort to stop being such a Halloween Grinch, here are my own personal reminders of why Halloween doesn't deserve my boycotting.

Picnik collage

Hocus Pocus. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and a talking cat. It's really all you could want in a Halloween movie, especially if you grew up in the 90s.

Picnik collage

Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins: the best proportion of chocolate to peanut butter all year.

Picnik collage

Kids in costume. There's nothing cuter than seeing how excited a kid gets about a whole holiday devoted to dressing up and eating candy. And I love when kids think of their costumes themselves. A friend's son is being a "Spiderman Dragon" this year, and last year a kid in Brooklyn told me he was a robot clown.

Picnik collage

Nostalgia. It's impossible to see kids in costume and not think back to your own days of trick-or-treating. The picture on the right of my little sister dressed as a tiger feels like a snapshot of the best parts of Halloween as a kid: elated to be up past bedtime, with a pile of candy that's all yours.

What about you? Are you a Halloween Grinch or Halloween lover?

Images: top photo by ash2276, Breakfast at Tiffany's dress by atutudes, Max costume by The Radical Thread Co. Last two photos by my dad, who was undoubtedly saying "show me some teeth!" as he clicked the shutter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Power House


A house with stripes: cool. A house that powers itself and the house next door (via wind and solar energy) and seeks to model "self-reliance, sustainability, and creative problem solving" to a struggle Detroit neighborhood: very cool. It's the first (of many) projects by Power House Productions, a Detroit-based non-profit using artists to stabilize and revitalize their neighborhood. They're reclaiming abandoned spaces and giving them new purpose in the community. Check out this squash house they made!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Downton Abbey




Have you been watching Downton Abbey? I'm a little late to it (it aired in the UK last fall and the first season already aired on PBS in the US) but I finally gave in to the hype and watched the first three episodes this weekend.

Oh. My. Word! So, so good. It's set in the early 20th century at the ginormous country home of the Crawley family and mixes historical events (the Titanic sinks in the first episode) with the day to day life of an aristocratic family and their servants. I've always loved a good British period drama, and this one is heavy on the drama. Plus: killer costumes and sets.

Really, if you haven't watched it yet, hop to it! You can stream it online via Netflix or Amazon in the US. Hurry, new episodes start in January!

Monday, October 24, 2011

(Mazes & Music) Weekend in Pictures





Believe it or not, there is a farm in New York City. Not a rooftop farm or a community farm, but a real farm that's been around since 1697. How crazy it that?! I spent Saturday there with some friends, getting lost in the corn maze, feeding farm animals and going on the weirdest hayride ever (mostly because I couldn't get over the fact that we were still in the city). Then on Saturday night I continued the Americana-y feel of the day by seeing Gillian Welch play at the Beacon. It was incredible. How was your weekend?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumped for Pumpkins

I'm going pumpkin picking this weekend (and to a corn maze!), so I thought a little Great Pumpkin would be appropriate. Don't worry, Linus. I don't plan on killing any of them.

Have a great fall weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dad Sayings


When I saw this poster on Kate's Pinterest, I immediately thought of my dad. Isn't "Hold Your Horses" such a Dad kind of saying? If they also made a "Dream On, Alice" poster I could have a wall in my home as an homage to my Dad (he would simultaneously get a kick out of that and find it strange).

What kind of funny or eye-rolling things did your Dad say when you were growing up? If you say you're cold, hungry, or tired around my dad you can be guaranteed a hearty handshake and a "Nice to meet you, Hungry, I'm Ernie." Which kind of cracks me up now, but was totally the last thing I wanted to hear as an angsty pre-teen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Neon Tide

Wow. How amazing would it be to see a bioluminescent tide in person?! So beautiful and strange.

I've wanted to swim with bioluminescent plankton ever since Maggie wrote about it. I mean, with descriptions like, "I lift my hands above the surface, and loose-diamonds tumble down my arms" how could you not? Come on, swimming with sparkles? Sign me up. Who wants to go to Puerto Rico next summer?

Update: Check out this guy surfing in it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Squirrel Watching


Picnik collage


I'm sorry, but I have no Weekend in Pictures post for you today. The only pictures I took this weekend were of squirrels. Um, kind of an embarrassing amount of pictures of squirrels. The pine tree in our back garden grows berries in the fall, and it attracts tons of squirrels and birds.

I feel like my grandma (she was an avid birdwatcher) when I catch myself standing at the window forever, watching eight or nine squirrels run all over the tree, hang upside down, and fight over the berries. In spite of feeling like an old lady, it really is sort of fun to watch!

Friday, October 14, 2011

If I Had a Boat

It's still wet and rainy in the Northeast, which puts me in the mood for quiet, beautiful music. I've been listening to James Vincent McMorrow's album "Early in the Morning" constantly, it's perfect for rainy days. I especially love the song "If I Had A Boat." I want to listen to it while wearing these pretty nautical earrings.

Screen shot 2011-10-14 at 2.23.55 PM

Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you have some wonderful things planned.

PS: It just occurred to me that I've been posting about the rainy weather a lot lately. Oops! I guess it's time for me to invest in some footwear for rainy days, which I've yet to do!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Falling Rocket

Picnik collage
{Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket, James McNeill Whistler, 1875}

Isn't this painting gorgeous? I'd want it to hang over my bed if it weren't already hanging in a museum.


Picnik collage

Picnik collage

After walking home through rainy Manhattan streets and catching a glimpse of the Empire State Building glowing, barely visible through the fog, I had a hankering to watch Sleepless in Seattle. I had forgotten how funny the kids are in that movie!

        (Jonah on the phone with Dr. Marsha Fieldstone, while his Dad is on a date)

         Jonah: He's kissing her on the lips. My Dad's been captured by a ho!

Ha! What's your favorite rainy night movie?

Images: Screenshots from Sleepless in Seattle

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making a Wedding Cake: Part II


After months of planning, worrying and buying way too much butter, Wedding Cake Day was upon me. My biggest concern was getting the tiers there without anything cracking or breaking. Oh, did I mention the reception was being held in another borough? It was. The cake had to get from the west side of Manhattan to the east side of Queens.

Thankfully, I have very good friends who helped me get all three tiers into a cab, and also kindly flirted with the cab driver to get him to drive very slowly and smoothly (a major miracle, if you've ever ridden in an NYC cab). I put the crumb-coated cakes in individual boxes and then we held the cakes and our breath in the back of a cab. We arrived at the reception site with the cakes still perfectly intact. Hooray!


After the cab ride was over and I could breathe again, I set to work assembling and frosting the cake. I love frosting cakes, but frosting a giant one was more fun than I thought it would be. I kept exclaiming, "this is so fun!" to no one in particular.

Picnik collage

While I was in my own little world of frosting joy, a few engaged couples were wandering around and looking at the venue. One of them looked at me and said, "Oh, the baker would know! How many people are they expecting tonight?" I was thrilled that they thought I was a professional! But then, a little later, another couple came by and the groom asked for my card. Eeee! I probably should have been a little cooler about the whole thing and given him my email address or something. Instead, I smiled like a goof and told him I wasn't a professional, just a friend of the bride.

After the frosting was done I cascaded some yellow & white ranunculus, baby's breath and greenery down the front of the cake and called it a day! Well. Actually, I went home, showered, and changed from Nervous-Cake-Baker to Happy-Wedding-Guest-Who-Needs-A-Drink.



All in all, making a wedding cake was (honestly!) really fun. And I'm really happy that my friends could have a cake they liked and that it tasted good (why is that so rare in wedding cakes?). So, congratulations to the Kings! Thanks for trusting me to make a giant cake. I loved it.

Making a Wedding Cake: Part I


Oh my. I did it! I made a wedding cake! Crazy.

I've been dreaming about making a wedding cake for ages. After making the groom's cake for a friend's wedding this summer, I was even more excited about someday making a wedding cake. So when Tracey said, "Hey, you could do our wedding cake!" I jumped at the chance. I've had so much fun with this project and I'd love to share the behind-the-scenes details with you! (I'll write about the day-of-the-wedding details next, if those interest you too :)


Thankfully Tracey and Greg were very laid back about the whole thing, and weren't looking for something super fancy or perfect. That really freed me up to focus on how it would taste, knowing if my frosting style is a bit homemade-looking, that's ok. We decided on a fall-flavored cake, with a tier each of carrot, pumpkin and apple cake covered with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.


After the question of flavor was answered, I turned to the Internet to answer the million other questions I had. Like, how does a three-tiered cake not cave in on itself? And how on earth am I going to get a giant wedding cake from my apartment in Chelsea to the venue in Queens? The Internet was very helpful. Thankfully, Queen Deb had already attempted this feat and I learned (as always) a lot from her.

After the Internet taught me about using dowels (I used straws) to keep the cake from caving in on itself, I made a full-sized test cake. Which was maybe a bit insane/wasteful, but turned out to be the best thing I could have done for my sanity and my confidence level. I tested all the recipes, built the cake, figured out that it was super easy to hide the cake boards in between each layer, gained confidence that it wouldn't cave in, and saw how the frosting would behave after sitting out all day in a warm apartment. As a little cheat, I only frosted half of the test cake.


After the test cake survived the day in my apartment without anything catastrophic happening, I took a giant box of it over to Tracey and Greg, who gave it the thumbs up. Then I threw the rest away (I know! I'm sorry) and waited nervously for the wedding day to make the real deal. Oh, and I suppose since this is the behind the scenes post I should tell you that I made all the cake a week before the wedding day and froze it all. It worked beautifully—cake is much easier to move around when it's frozen solid, it thaws to taste exactly the same as it did when it went in, and it allowed me to enjoy the pre-wedding festivities without having to come home to bake nine cakes at the end of the night.

I think I've bored you enough with the details for now (or, if there's anyone out there like me, fascinated you), more on how it all went down later today.

Monday, October 10, 2011

(Wedding-y) Weekend in Pictures

{lingerie party decor}

{bachelorette party dinner}

{refueling between festivities}

{three tiers of wedding cake in a cab}

Picnik collage
{venue preparations}

{a lovely dress}

{it's good to be king}

This weekend was all about a wedding. The bachelorette party, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, reception set-up and finally the ceremony that married two of my favorites. It was a wonderful day, filled with all kinds of laughter, tears, and dancing (that one's a rarity for me!). 

Oh, and I made a wedding cake. No big deal. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Light and Sleep

It's pretty much a no-brainer that light effects how we sleep. How many of us could fall asleep in a brightly lit room? When I'm winding down for the night I usually switch to dim lighting, but I never really thought about the light coming from my computer. It turns out, the blue light that emanates from our computers and phones is not very helpful when you're trying to fall asleep.

Lately I've been using this great app called f.lux, which changes the light your computer produces based on the time of day and where you live. Writing this post in the wee hours of the morning, my screen is casting a soft, orange glow on my hands instead of an intense blue-white light. It's really nice and calming.

photos by Sofia Ajram

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Little Bit of Knope

Just a little bit of hilarity for your Wednesday morning. I've been inhaling season two of Parks and Recreation on Netflix lately, it's so funny. I may have laughed out loud at this part around 1:30 a.m. this morning, hopefully I didn't wake up my roommates!

PS: Watch the same thing here, on a loop. Then die laughing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011






Gorgeous, whimsical images from photographer Tim Walker. I never knew I wanted to have a camp out in a library, but now I need to!

via Hello, Friend
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...